There is nothing like visiting water parks in Tennessee with your family during a hot summer. The humidity is thick, the days are long and the waterslides are inviting and fun. While most people correlate a good trip to Tennessee to a music themed visit to Nashville or a nature enjoying jaunt to the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee is also home to some fun and impressive water parks that make for great family outings and are worth the addition to your itinerary.
There are a few things in particular that I absolutely love about these water parks on this list that make them different and unique. First off, there are a few that can be accessed for year round fun. I can’t think of anything that brings more joy to my children’s faces when it’s the dead of winter and I tell them to go grab their swimsuit and there pajamas because we are headed to an indoor water park for the night. I also tend to be a bit of a water park snob as I spent summers going to some of the biggest and best water parks California has to offer, and because of that I can honestly say that all of these I would drive six hours for in a heartbeat.
So grab your towels, your sunscreen and your goggles as we explore the thrills, slides and best lazy rivers that Tennessee has to offer!
Depending on the time of year Wilderness At The Smokies rivals Dollywood Splash Country as my favorite water park in Tennessee. This is one of those year round use water parks that makes for a great weekend getaway in January when everyone is going stir crazy!
Wilderness at the Smokies actually has three water parks on the resort property. Two outdoor water parks and is home to Tennessee’s largest indoor water park- Wild WaterDome. Use of the seasonal outdoor water parks and the year round Wild WaterDome are exclusive for guests staying at the resort.
Another reason we love Wilderness At The Smokies so much is there is a wide variety of accommodations options from condos with kitchens and separate living and sleeping areas, to resort style plush guest rooms, to large family suites with bunk beds.
For days when you really don’t feel like getting wet or you have had your fill of water fun for the day, the resort features a family fun gaming center called the Adventure Forest. The activity center has an arcade, indoor three-story ropes course, laser tag, black light miniature golf and an indoor playground for children with a toddler play area. We also love that Wilderness At The Smokies has many different dining options, discount Homeschool days, and is very family oriented.
If you are looking for a true and authentic Tennessee water park experience than Dollywood Splash Country is just the ticket. It’s definitely your typical water park but with it’s own Tennessee twist and takes after the theme of Dollywood which it shares a parking lot with.
Dollywood Splash Country is nestled into the natural surroundings of the beautiful majestic Smoky Mountains. As you float down the lazy river, or jump waves in the wave pool, it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine you are floating through the rivers and hills as the natural mountain landscape envelops you.
On the flip side Splash Country is also home to some of the most cutting edge and unique waterslides and even is home to Tennessee’s only water coaster RiverRush which takes you into the trees up to three stories high before you go sliding and splashing through tunnels and drops.
As much as we love Dollywood Splash Country it does get crowded in the summer and at times the lines move slow. We have taken advantage of their TimeSaver passes and genuinely recommend them to those who would like to enjoy more rides with less wait time. You may also consider staying at nearby DreamMore Resort as there is a back entrance into Splash Country right across the street. The DreamMore also has it’s own two amazing pools and splash pad as well.
With an excellent location next to Percy Priest Lake, Nashville Shores is the perfect retreat to escape the heat of hot and humid Nashville summers. Nashville shores is definitely a local favorite and is a fun and exhilarating water park with a lot to offer.
The park itself has eight water slides to get your thrills as well as a wave pool, lazy river, and Kowabunga Beach which is a four story tall water play structure with over seventy different water spray features and slides. For little visitors they just opened Barefootin’ Bay which is a smaller play structure with slides and water spray features.
One thing we absolutely love about the resort is that there is a campground on the property that lets you extend your stay for a fun family getaway or even larger multi-family reunions. Cabins are also available to rent and there are 84 RV sites with full hook-ups.
If you stay in the cabins or rent an RV site there are water park discounts available. For days that you just want to take a break from the water, Treetop Adventure Park is also located inside Nashville Shores Resort Park and has over 100 obstacle courses ranging from zip lines, suspended bridges to Tarzan swings.
Lake Winnie definitely wins as the oldest amusement park in Tennessee and has been winning the hearts of families for over ninety years. Soak Ya is the water park that is located within the Lake Winnie amusement park just outside of Chattanooga, TN at Lake Winnepesaukah.
Visitors can spend the morning riding amusement park rides and then when it gets a little too hot and humid for comfort visit SOAKya to cool down and enjoy the water and the scenery. The park features a large lazy river and wave pool along with a variety of tube slides and a toddler splashing area.
Families really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere that Lake Winnie and SOAKya have to offer and many guests who visit have been coming with their parents and grandparents for generations. Life vests are available for guests for free of charge. In order to get the most out of both parks there are locker rentals as well as changing and showering areas so you can re-enter the amusement park at your convenience which is a nice perk after being able to go back and forth between the two parks.
For those looking for a less expensive and less crowded option in the Nashville area, Wave Country will be a great choice. Families love this city-run water park in Tennessee that features a large wave pool, multiple slides and a kiddie splash area. There is plenty of parking at Wave Country and the admission price is considerably less than other water parks listed. You can also get a coupon on the website for $2 off admission prices.
Get there early to get a spot in the shade and don’t forget to pack a picnic to enjoy after playing in the waves! Another unique feature of Wave Country that sets it apart from other water parks is the ability to bring in food. For those who would rather pack light the on-site snack bar is well stocked and affordable.
A few important things to note is that while tubes are plentiful and provided free of charge for the wave pool there are no lounge chairs or seating options available for use. Guests and visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets, a cooler, and floats for kids use, to enjoy the day. The waterpark is clean and staff is helpful making this one of the top Tennessee water park picks.
Jonesborough, Tennessee is a smaller town located just east of Johnson City. This town is home to one of the cleanest, nicest, and family friendly water parks in Tennessee. You may not find all the high speed exciting thrill rides here like you would at some of the bigger water parks in the state but you will find friendly staff, clean facilities, and a relaxed family day at the pool.
Wetlands Water Park features many slides for all members of the family including even the smaller toddler-sized friends. Attractions in the park include a long lazy river, zero depth wading area, tumble buckets, children’s otter slide, and plenty of other areas to splash and play for the whole family.
Limited amount of deck and lounge chairs are available and you are welcome to bring blankets and stretch out on the lawn in the shade. Another great feature to this water park are the sand volleyball pits to play as family and friends when you want a break from the water. Another thing to note is that tubes are available to rent for a small fee if you don’t want to lug your own around or are visiting the area!
Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort Wild Bear Falls is an indoor water park that is available to resort guests as well as outside guests year round. One of the most unique features about Wild Bear Falls is it’s retractable roof so in the summer months guests can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and in the winter guests can enjoyed a climate controlled play area.
Wild Bear Falls features a lazy river, a large open swimming area, water slides, hot tubs, and splash areas with play structures. A full snack bar is available onsite which can be a welcome respite after working up an appetite playing! The locker and shower facilities are very roomy and clean and staff is nice and welcoming. Life vests are available for no fee upon request and it’s important to note that space is limited and it does fill to capacity on some days so get there early.
One of our all time favorite features about Wild Bear Falls is the relaxing mountain atmosphere. Inside the park you will not find your usual pool lounge chairs but nice comfortable wooden loungers and wooden swings. We also love the two story seating for more options to relax and enjoy the day.
The ability to visit Tennessee and enjoy some quality water thrills with your family makes Tennessee one of the best destinations for water park fun. If you are an avid lover of water parks then you can see why Tennessee needs to be on your list for your next water family getaway. With some of the most top-rated water parks in the country, beautiful natural scenery, great attractions and restaurants its an easy guess why Tennessee is a hot vacation spot in the summer.
What is your favorite water park in Tennessee to visit?
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